Bradford GP practice transforms building into health and wellbeing centreA GP practice providing health and social care to homeless people, asylum seekers and refugees across the Bradford district has moved to new city centre premises.
Bevan Healthcare’s purchase and development of the large, empty building in Piccadilly has transformed it into a bright and welcoming health and wellbeing centre for over 3,000 patients.
The practice had been based in premises on Sunbridge Road since it first opened in 2003, but it had always been its ambition to develop a health and wellbeing centre in an accessible, central location.
As a social enterprise, Bevan funded the move and refurbishment of the building thanks to a loan from Social Investment Business and the council’s Regeneration Bradford, which supports businesses to bring buildings back into use in the city centre.
The new centre will continue to offer a full range of GP services to its patients as part of a wider holistic service which supports people to find stable accommodation, get into education, training and employment – and move onto mainstream healthcare.
As well as core GP services, the practice is also pioneering a range of new projects, funded by Bradford City and Bradford Districts CCGs. Public health has also funded part of the intermediate care facility.
- The Bradford Bevan Pathway: the practice teamed up with Pathway, a health charity, to create a new team to work with homeless people, vulnerable migrants and people from other excluded groups who get admitted to hospital.
- Street Medicine Team: this team offers care at homeless drop-ins, soup kitchens and hostels.
- Intermediate care facility: jointly with Horton Housing Association, Bevan won funding to provide 14 self-contained units for homeless people to be discharged from hospital to – providing a health and social care facility for convalescence, support and rehabilitation.
Gina Rowlands, managing director of Bevan Healthcare, said: “Our patients are thrilled with the new building: being part of the move, and the design behind it, gives them a sense of ownership and pride in the premises. We’ve got a vibrant patient participation group and it’s been central to our vision for this new place.
“It was always our plan to buy our own premises and we’ve had great support to make this move. All our staff feel very positive, and we’ve already had visits from health and other organisations around the country to see what we’re doing with the health and wellbeing centre. This is a really exciting time for us.”
Bevan’s success at providing care to some of the district’s most vulnerable patients is down to working closely with its key partners, including Horton Housing, the statutory and voluntary sector, and drug and alcohol services.
The service is made up of a core team of GPs and nurses working with a range of different health and social care professionals.
It has a range of services on site which include a health trainer, contraception and sexual health service, health visitors, podiatry and mental health support including Bradford Rape Crisis, the women’s therapy team and a psychologist.
Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG, said: “Bevan Healthcare provides a unique service to some of the most socially excluded groups of people in Bradford, who often struggle to access mainstream health services. I’m delighted that this move will allow them to develop further as a one-stop-shop for not only health and social care, but also getting people back on their feet and into housing, training and employment.”
Bradford City CCG’s clinical chair, Dr Akram Khan, added: “I’m really pleased to see the practice go from strength to strength, delivering primary care in such an innovative way – and now in such an excellent new setting – and helping to reduce health inequalities. Its services pave the way for patients to transfer back into mainstream healthcare and integrate into the wider community.”